Happiness

Working on Staying Motivated

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I feel like a slug. I looked around and knew I need to put up and trim the tree. I am heading into the second weekend of December and my house is not decorated. My enthusiasm for many of the holiday seasonal activities has been replaced with lethargy. I have no idea what I am planning to cook for the Christmas dinner, and I have done little if any Christmas shopping. I’m not gonna and you can’t make me. Let’s face it, I am tired. How do we as adults, with home life, careers, friends and so much more, stay motivated?

I was reading a post by Leo Bubutta on 16 Ways to Stay Motivated. He suggested focusing on one goal, saying it publicly, and thinking about it daily. So, you want me to tell people that I feel like a lazy bum and that I am waiting for the quarter to end so I can spend a week not combing my hair? I like the ideas, but that is not going to do it for me.

Next, I headed over to the Lifehack.org to seek some motivation for my slump. These wisdom warriors say to find the good reasons, take a different approach, recognize your progress and reward yourself. I like the reward myself portion, and now feels some motivation to make some of those cookie brownies.

This wasn’t going to do, I needed to power up my powered down motivation. I needed the master, I needed some Zen. I headed over to Tony Robbins website and for $2595, I could be seated on the first three rows close to Tony, get lunch, course materials and I could change my life. Well that’s not going to happen. I know what is going to happen.

I am going to sit down. I am going to rest. I am going to recharge my soul, my spirit and my zest for life. I don’t need to spend $2595, or have anyone tell me that I need reward myself because I am awesome; I’m just tired. I think the best way for me to stay motivated is to stay away from people who suck, suck the life out of you or those people who are needy. I am needy. I am in needy of some sleepy.

I suddenly feel motivated. I am going to go trim that tree, bake some cookies and afterwards I am going to take a nap. I am motivated to do these things.

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Want Dessert with that Whine?

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Recently I have come across a new phenomenon that I just can’t wrap my brain around.  I am simply befuddled by the enormity of the weight of this trend.  This new trend is whining and complaining men.  I can’t stand it and if there is anything that a woman will not tolerate is man that has nothing positive to say. I know, long gone are the days of Clint Eastwood when a man walked up to another and socked him in the face for just being a lily-livered scally-wag, but a whining man is just plain unsavory. It is an unpalatable taste that seems to linger throughout your day.

Today, I walked into my co-workers work area, and her counterpart was sitting there with a scowl on his face. No surprise, there is always a scowl on his face, but today, I just was not in the mood to hear it.  I said a polite “Good Morning,” and he started in with this litany of whining. It wasn’t complaining, it was simple unadulterated whining. Before I knew what came over me, I said, “Get thee behind me Satan, you will not take my joy on this day!”  My friend balked, he balked and I took a seat.  You know what happened then? Yeap, he shut the bleep up.

I was not out of line and this why.  My dear friend absolutely finds no joy in her job. I am constantly tortured at lunch by a shell of my happy go lucky friend, because she has been poisoned and tainted by Sir Shirk A Lot. If you constantly are being fed a diet of salt soaked food, then please expect to have high blood pressure. He is vacuuming her soul of any joy in her day by having to listen to his incessant whining. But he is not the only criminal in joy reduction in life.  There are tons of people that we surround ourselves with that love to sap your joy and yet we fail to understand why we sometimes are discontent.  We have these joy parasites as relatives.  We have these joy sanguisuges as friends but moreover, we work alongside these joy vampires.

If you don’t like your job, then quit. No one, not any one, should have to listen to your discontent all damned day long because your set has shrunk.  I have a set big enough for both of us; you can borrow mine for a day or so.  It makes a woman long for the days of the old fashioned fella that tipped his hat and said, “howdy Maam!”  I can even remember as a young girl watching Lady Sing the Blues, and the ever so dapper Billy Dee Williams asking, “…you want my arm to fall off?” Although he was a chain smoking cigar hack, you felt his passion and thought of him as a real man.

I say a good deal of this with a tongue in cheek attitude, but I like to surround myself with happy people.  I do not expect everyone to be happy every day, but I am not going to surround myself with someone that is never happy. I am not certain what has gone wrong for my-coworker, and I am not sure who has taken a tinkle in his lemonade, but really, if the lemonade tastes a tad bit tart, then stop drinking it.

I can spend a day discussing the psychological ramifications of the effects of role reversals on the American male psyche.  I can speak for hours on the impact of NAFTA and the exportation of American jobs which have taken our men out of work.  I can talk about the changes the corporate workplace that put overly aggressive women in charge of men that has cause a pseudo misogamist reversal in roles that have left men feeling, well less of a man. But in the same breath, I can also speak on men who have started their own ventures and new companies by the sweat of the brow.  I can elaborate on the small businesses that have started by these displaced factory workers that are building new communities. I can talk about the single fathers who have stepped up and learn about spaghetti straps and hair bows. However, none of these men are sitting behind a desk whining.

If you are unhappy, get up off your duff and make some changes. But for all that is holy, stop whining, because eventually, you will get your just desserts.

For These Things I Am Thankful

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I am going on strike. I have been asked by six people what I am planning to cook for Thanksgiving, and each have been shocked when I have responded, “very little.” I have the bird, I have some vegetables and I have stuff to make desserts, but am I cooking for two days to eat left overs for four, heck no! I plan to celebrate Thanksgiving, but not in the traditional way.

I am thankful to be able to have the means in which to purchase the needed items to make such a splendid meal. However, with the cost of food and fuel, I see no reason to spend $200 to make dinner. If I am going to have a $200 dinner, the Chef best come to my table and make sure I enjoyed every savory morsel!

I cook five or six days a week and Tuesdays are my baking day. I bake fresh each week and my friends are all well aware. I am usually asked to share what I make and often do. Today is Tuesday so I have decided to make a pie. I am thankful that I have friends who enjoy my cooking 52 times per year. I do not need them to wait until the final Thursday in November.

Because I cook so often, I have found clever if not unusual means to recycle my leftovers. The roast from Sunday is often cut down to make tacos on Mondays or soups or stews throughout the week. The left over cornbread I made on Sunday is perfect for some cornbread dressing. I am thankful that there is enough leftover and I do not have to make a fresh pan special for Thanksgiving.

I have potatoes, both white and sweet, along with peas and other items bought from local growers. I am going to cook for the week anyway, but this week, I am planning to cook a turkey. Since the bird is mid-sized, it is also perfect for making turkey pot pie, turkey noodle soup and turkey salad. I am thankful that I know how to stretch my food budget.

So often we spend this day of Thanksgiving engorging ourselves with overly rich foods, overspending and annoying the hell out of each other. Again, I am protesting. My modest dinner this Thursday will consist of a bird and two side dishes. I am not heading out on Black Friday to shop for items I don’t need either. I am staying home.

I have been blessed this year with clarity to understand my place on this universe. I have learned in the past year that less is more. I have learned that to be an educator, I must first educate myself. I have learned that in order to be loved, I must, without reservation give it to those who deserve it, as well as those finding their way. I have, most of all, learned that I am still learning.

I do not require a certain day in which to cook a meal to share with my family and friends. I have learned to manage my money so that I do not have to shop like a maniac the day after Thanksgiving. I have learned to be crafty and can make my friends items they will appreciate, so I do not need to spend money. And for these things, I am thankful.

Irony and Stupid T-Shirts

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Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking the annual bus shopping trip to one of those outlet malls. It is always a blast, but I mainly go to hang out with friends, have a decadent lunch, and not have to drive. After so many hours, you take your cache to the bus, seal it in your labeled garbage bag and go back to empty your bank account. However, this time, the bus was not where it was supposed to be. I found the bus but it was blocked in by some self-promoted rapper named Nap-Boy. Our bus driver is upset, our people are upset and I’m thinking, what is the big deal? I sent a tweet to the address on the side of the van, and then I called the number. Here is the beauty of it all, I went back inside the shopping center, took a seat with my Dipping Dots treat, and watched the people pass by. There were a ridiculous number of people wearing T-shirts with stupid sayings on them. Ironically, the rapper that was boxing in our bus, also had a stupid shirt, and he walked right up to me. He, of course, wanted to sell me one of his CD’s. I made a contribution on the condition that he moves his van.

    I know I took the long way around on this one, but here’s the point. Out of thousands of people in the shopping outlet in Charlotte, I was able to find one person. Why, because he was wearing a stupid shirt; luckily his shirt matched his van.

He wasn’t the only adult wearing one of those silly shirts. As I sat there, I saw a beer bellied fella pass by in this gem.
I was really tempted to ask what his daughter looked like, to see if it was actually a concern. His daughter showed up. Sadly, Daddy, you can put the gun away. She will be home with you on prom night. I know it’s mean, but I started to chuckle.

Our next wonderful shirt was worn by a Goth kid with green hair. He was also wearing piercings in is eyebrows, his nose, his lip, his jaw, and those big tribal ear circles in his lobes. I laughed when I saw the shirt. The irony, people probably beat the crap out of him his whole life; especially looking as he did. He probably became a Goth when his parents stopped paying for his self-defense classes.

This t-shirt was worn by a young black man who was sporting this shirt in green. He also had on green shoes, a plaid green outer shirt and some green underpants. I saw the underpants because his pants were well below his butt. The young lady at his side walked along with pride that this gem wearing fashion risk was her man. Question, was she one of the wayward ho’s?

The more I sat there, the more people I saw wearing tees with sometimes inappropriate if not downright offensive imprints.

as

After about a half hour, I had to get up and move, because people were starting to wonder why I was laughing. I could not snap photos, but I did find most of the shirts on a website. I became more tickled as my friend joined me and she saw one that made her laugh even harder. It was a T shirt of the Ass Family and each of the family members also had on the same shirt. Who was the Smart Ass who came up with the idea to wear these out in public?

The irony of it all was wasted on the wearers. Individuals who wear these shirts are probably doing so to get noticed or get some attention. The attention you are getting is not for the funny sayings on your shirt, it is because the reader is processing the whole thought. The thought adorning your boobies, beer belly and bird chest is only the beginning.

One lady stopped and asked why we were laughing. I told her honestly, if you only knew what I was just thinking…..

Did you just unfriend me?

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Today I was just given a shock. I was checking my Facebook page and hubby made the comment that our son had something funny on his wall. I went to check and found that my own child had unfriended me! The nerve!

Here is the beauty of this; he is not able to see my post because he is not my friend. Therefore I can talk about him and he not know.

What does it really mean in Americanspeak when someone unfriends you on a social network? It means that you have been deemed unimportant in their daily lives. It means they do not care to know what you are doing on a daily basis and you are not privy to their information. In other words, you have been ruled as obsolete.

I know, it hurts. It hurts me too. I unfriended by brother-in-law and his insipid wife. I unfriended that guy from high school that I never really spoke to 30 years ago and I don’t really want to know about his daily life. I unfriended that drunk girl from college, who claimed she was allergic to alcohol, but found a way to guzzle it every weekend. I unfriended an Army buddy who found religion. She did not necessarily find God, because she is always judging how someone else is living their lives. I unfriended that former co-worker who I remembered tried to get me fired. Witch!

I blocked Mafia Wars, My Little Pony, I have a Butt Rash, Hearts, Rabbits and other irrelevant applications that drained my phone’s battery. I stopped following and unliking artist who made sucky movies. I stopped liking artist who sold out and added rap music to beautiful R & B ballads. I stopped responding to events that I would never, ever attend, by groups, I don’t want to be associated with anyway.

I took a cue from my son.

I started to update my pages as well and began to remove people that I really didn’t deal with on a regular basis.

I am okay with it.

I just hope some my acquaintances are as well, my sister in law, I don’t really care about.

Unfriending someone is not an insult. I see it as a separation of church and state. I don’t need to see everything that is going on in my son’s life and he does not need to see what I am posting. Not that either of us are saying anything offensive.

I am glad I have a chance to now ask him how was his day, versus sharing his life vicariously through his daily updates. I, now get to talk to him in person. Unfriending me, may just save our relationship.


Trick or Treat! Put some clothes on!

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It befuddles me that women choose Halloween to release their inner demons, literally.  I am not certain when the trend started, but nice girls turn into ghoulish vamps, tramps and scamps.  The whole trend is not only creepy, but scary. It is no longer a treat, when your best friend shows up anywhere, let alone your home, looking like a Trick.

It started this morning on my way to work.  I saw my 60 year old neighbor dressed as a naughty nurse.  That is just wrong on so many levels. I too wanted to participate in the Halloween festivities, so I grabbed some red wedges, a red cape, a long black skirt and top with a Puritan ruffle to complete my ensemble.  I grabbed a twig from the back yard as my evil wand.  I add some colorful makeup to my eyes, bushed up my eyebrows, and stopped by Walmart to add a witches cap with a spider veil.  I am not too evil, nor am I uncovered, wearing fishnets, hooker boots, or a skirt that is WAYYYYY too short. it was out of the norm for me, but honestly, the naughty nurse should be reserved for private parties.  I an not a prude, or prudish, I just know there are some things we do not need to see.

I want to believe that somewhere in all of us there is a nice little girl and little boy who want to play with the other kids. However, there has to be a line drawn somewhere.  Some of these ideas are simply just in poor taste.

If you wish to let your freak flag fly, then by all means, do so, but please take this word of caution. If you think for one minute that you our coloring outside of the lines, and no one is expecting you to be so edgy, then you are wrong.  Your friends and co-workers already know that you are freaky. Showing up to anyone’s home, half dressed, looking like a Hallowhore is not really cute. Be the adult here and just find a costume that is appropriate and for Pete’s sake, put some clothes on!

I’ll Buy That for a Dollar!

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Next June will mark my 22nd wedding anniversary. Hubby and I are planning a really cool vacation and I plan to fully enjoy myself without cumbersome worries of how are we going to eat when we get back from this lovely little trip. I have begun to save large chunks which mean there is little room left for play money. I thereby had to put myself on a cash diet. I can only use my credit card or debit card for emergencies. This past week I have truly learned the value of a dollar. I have also learned that there are something’s that I will not buy, not even for a dollar!

As I previously stated in one of my early post, I have begun to coupon. I am now a step below extreme couponing and hovering around extreme value shopping. I have become, what I consider, to be very clever. I am recycling everything from pieces of left over roast, which are transformed into taco night, or in this weather, a hearty stew. The stews are great to also use up the leftover peas and carrots in the fridge. I am even stocking up the pantry and deep freezer. Let me tell you how.

As I was leaving the house to start my bargain shopping, I noticed the planters on the front porch needed fall plants. Normally, by this time, I would have added some Mums, but I wanted to stretch what I have until it is time to put in the Icicle Pansies. I head over to my friendly neighborhood Lowes. Instead of shopping in the front, I head to the rear of the garden center to THAT rack. Yes, the rack of shelves with sad, lonely, and deserted plants. I have found the ones on the ends are the healthiest and easy to revive. I picked up two hanging Tahitian Bridal Veils for $1 each. They need to be repotted so next I head to Roses. Instead of purchasing the name brand bags of potting soil for five bucks, I opt for the local no name bags for $1. Hey, it’s dirt. I am going to add some plant food when I repot them anyway. Now it’s time to get really busy.

I am headed to the buy one get one sale at Food Lion. I have already added the sale coupons to my MVP card buy downloading the digital coupons to my frequent shopper cards. The hard copy of manufacturer coupons in hand, I have a $1 off of two boxes of Cheerios, which just happen to be on sale for buy one get one. Armed with my sale ad in hand, I pick up bags of chicken breast, shrimp, Doritos, and a large 39 oz container of coffee. I save $1 on the coffee, which I purchased for $7.99. I am on a roll. I purchased high end ice cream at buy one get one along with high end butter crackers. Zesta Whole Wheat Crackers at buy one get one box is great deal; grabbed two of those.

I load up the mama mobile and make my way to Kroger. They are having a ten for $10 sale. Here, you have to be very careful. Last week, the same store brand vegetables I got for $.88 per bag are now in the 10 for ten sale; this is not good friends. I did pick and choose which items were a good deal for a buck, but Lipton Rice mixes are a dollar anyway, so this is not really a good buy. Staples purchased, I now have my local independent grocer’s ad, or the local IGA. These stores are great for pantry items. There is a five for $5 sale going on so I stock up on two pounds bags of rice, hot sauce, ketchup can goods and dry beans. I also grab a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters for $6. I do have a freezer safe bags in the trunk for my cold items. These wonderful bags keep food cold for 3 hours.

My last stop is to the local Bakery outlet. Tuesday and Friday’s at the John Derst bakery outlet has bread on sale for $.79. Wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, Kaiser Hamburger buns and hot dog rolls are all for $.79; with no buying limits. I have found that you can freeze bread for up to 3 months and when you defrost, it is good as new.

    My pantry is stocked. My fridge and freezer is full and my bank account is not empty. I have a full tank of gas, my hair is done, and I have a few bucks left in my working account for just in cases. I did all of this today, including my hair, for a mere $160.00. It’s okay, you can say, “ooohhhh!” I know I did.

    I must close out now because my new issue of All You arrived in the mail. The cover says there are $94.55 worth of coupons inside. I have work to do.